#Writing #Music Monday: Limitless by Sirius

coverBoy, my mood swings can be intense.

And I don’t even mean that I’m posting this a day late due to depression. (Though that might be a small part of it, too.)

No, what I’m actually referring to is the fact that I went through about three other albums in my head, each a jarringly different genre, over this past weekend while trying to decide what to post for Writing Music Monday this week. I was tempted by some jazz, then some classical, then a solo piano album.

And yet I landed on techno. Not my favorite genre, not by a long shot, yet here I am. Go figure.

Make no mistake, this is dance club, repetitious, throbbing techno.

And yet, it’s also really good. I hear in it traces of the ’80s-style electronica I adore, and even like the techno clichés as they happen. Instead of being the sort of dance club music that seems to insist on getting up in your face and being a rude boor, it mostly is content to do what it’s doing without all the posturing designed to provoke reactions. It’s putting music together, more so than simply expressing attitude and hoping for reaction, even negative reaction.

I don’t know anything about Sirius, the artist who made this album, but Limitless is his (her?) most recent release on Jamendo, and he has music going all the way back to 2007. So far back that the first one has a Generation One Creative Commons license, one of the old, confusing ones. Apart from the body of work, and the Jamendo profile saying that he’s French, I know nothing.

But the work is good. The work is very good. Good enough to overcome my bias against techno despite making no attempt to disguise its techno-ness.

Somehow, it just hits my mood right this week.

Download Limitless by Sirius free from the Internet Archive.

Creative Commons License
Limitless by Sirius is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 International License.

#Writing #Music Monday: On A Beam Of Light by Stellardrone

On A Beam Of Light coverI’ve shared two Stellardrone albums previously, but I have to confess: there are days, sometimes weeks, when I simply queue up a playlist of every single thing he’s released, put it on repeat, and let that be my writing/working soundtrack for the day.

So today, we go back to his first album, On A Beam Of Light.

In one of the two posts where I’ve dealt with Stellardrone before, I suggested that his earlier work was less melodic and more drone-y than his most recent two albums.

That was unfair. His more recent work is sharper, and manages more complicated build-ups both in individual tracks and album wide, but he was, as this album amply shows, melodic from the get-go.

The Vangelis influence is just as obvious as in any one of his other works, and again that is no bad thing.

This is music of wonder and exploration, that will put anyone my age in mind of Carl Sagan’s Cosmos series. (We will not talk of the travesty of whatshisface’s “update” series of the same name, nor of the horrific musical choices it made.) It is perfect for firing the imagination and exploring unknown worlds.

You can download On A Beam Of Light by Stellardrone free from Jamendo, or free from the Internet Archive, or you can name your own price (including free) and get it through BandCamp while sending money Stellardrone’s way.

Creative Commons License
On A Beam Of Light by Stellardrone is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License.

Yes, different licenses are listed on the Archive and Jamendo. But this comes from Stellardrone’s own website:

Once Stellardrone publishes his tracks on the Internet he waives all the rights to them and only kindly asks for attribution. Any person or organization is free to use any track of his on any kind of project (commercial, independent etc.), including selling, remixing and distribution of music.

stellardrone/use of music

#Writing #Music Monday: A Man Who Knows What I’ll Do In A Moment by Sixpro (6PRO)

CoverThe irritating thing about emergent order is that things don’t turn out the way you want or expect, or the way anybody wants or expects.

Wait. Why in hell am I talking about economic theory in a Writing Music Monday post?

Because all culture is a product of emergent order, and because this somewhat explains a recurring, implicit lament of mine.

I have said, more than once, that I love the otherworldliness of late 1970s, early 1980s synth music. Vangelis, Kraftwerk, the soundtrack to Fletch, Brad Fiedel’s work, Tangerine Dream, John Carpenter’s soundtrack compositions, and so many others. But I also intensely dislike most (not all) techno, the modern descendent of that type of music.

(Which is quite funny, given that I attended a number of early raves where techno was more or less born, but that’s a whole other story.)

I listen to the early synth works, and inevitably dream of a different direction that sort of music could have gone, had the culture been more optimistic (among innumerable other factors).

But the order that emerged out of the rave scene was techno, and house, and industrial, and that’s just how it went. I don’t get my way, and that’s life, welcome to it.

However, the Creative Commons and open source music production is allowing other, nearly infinite new orders to emerge. And one of those is a class of “techno” that, when I find it, I end up loving like the never-existed music I dream could have emerged from early synth.

Now it exists.

Here is one more example to add to the collection, the one and only album from Polish artist SixPro (6PRO).

His “about” explains:

Music is my passion. Always accompanied me. At home, on my bike, at work, in the car … everywhere. I am interested in any interesting music. From the musical genres such as trance, chillout, ambient, psybient, classic electronic music in a completely radically different genres as jazz, smoot jazz, acoustic, and so on. I do not have a preferred style. Depending on my mood, emotions, physical state of mind, I choose myself what I currently want.

My interest in music stretches beyond just listening. For some time I make music. My current work is in the area of electronic music. I’m interested in creating melodic instrumental music with elements of trance and tracks of ambient and chillout genre. I hope that my work you enjoy it and will share with me your thoughts :).

Well, my thoughts are that this album is great, the music is perfect for writing to or just listening to. If you’re in the right mood, you might even make one of the tracks your personal theme music for a day or more.

Sixpro’s soundscapes are complex, well-integrated, and pleasing. Each track is a journey, and each journey is one worth taking, over and over again.

Download A Man Who Knows What I’ll Do In A Moment free from Jamendo.

Creative Commons License
A Man Who Knows What I’ll Do In A Moment by Sixpro (6PRO) is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

#Writing #Music Monday: This Is Psytrance by Jordan Margera

This Is Psytrance CoverHere’s an entry in another subgenre of techno with which I am unfamiliar. This time around, we are delving into psytrance, which is a variation of trance, which is a subset of techno.

Beyond that, I can’t really explain the differences yet. I tend to prefer 80’s–sounding synth, but this is more modern and hard-edged than that.

Jordan Margera is a French DJ, and this appears to be his first exploration of psytrance, so it’s a first for everybody around here.

The album (it’s labeled an EP, but it is forty-four minutes long, which is longer than a number of older LPs) is dark, hard-edged and driving. It throbs. It pulses. It pauses unexpectedly, then cascades new sounds on you before circling back to familiar territory.

To my way of thinking, it’d be good background if you’re writing something gritty, urban and set within the last twenty years or so.

Overall, it’s an interesting and evocative soundscape. Not one I want to live in every day, but worth visiting and revisiting.

Download This Is Psytrance by Jordan Margera free from Jamendo.

Creative Commons License
This Is Psytrance – EP by Jordan Margera is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 International License.

#Writing #Music Monday: Homeland by SBUT

Homeland CoverI often post an album saying “It’s kind of this, but also a bit of that, but not really like either too much.”

Not this one. This is flat–out dance club techno. So if bass heavy thumpathumpa that’s meant to be danced to won’t get you writing, you probably want to pass this one by.

But — and regular readers know I don’t generally say this about techno — this is really good!


I dance in my chair to this, and look around for hot girls in tube tops. It’s pro, it’s good, and it gets you moving.

SBUT is (yet another) German composer and, not reading German, I can’t tell you too much about him other than that he was born in ’85 and his music is really damn good. He’s been releasing music through Jamendo since 2009, though I’ve only just discovered him (I am a techno-phobe only in the musical sense). He might have begun dj-ing and producing music as far back as 2000 (again, my interpretation of his German bio, so I could be wrong).

Homeland is, at the time of this writing, his most recent release. It throbs. It thumps. It loops and builds and tangents and circles back.

And it’s just really, really damn good. (Especially the “Homeland Girls” track. If you don’t like that, you don’t like ice cream.)

Download Homeland free from Jamendo.

Creative Commons License
Homeland by SBUT is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 International License.

#Writing #Music Monday: Paint the Stars by Eddy J

Paint The Stars CoverHere’s another odd one that I can’t classify, but the artist’s tags of “ambient”, “chillout”, “electronic” and “trance” only scratch the surface of where this album takes you.

It’s a moody soundscape with some singing, some chanting, and lots of other bits of moods and things I don’t even know how to describe.

Eddy J (AKA Colin Edward Johnson) is a Creative Commons artist I never encountered before listening to this album for Music Monday, even though he’s released four full albums (and several singles and EPs) since early summer of 2014. He seems to be a believer in Free Culture and open licensing, since my download of this album is all CC BY-SA, and he has since changed several tracks to attribution-only.

But the music comes first, and the music is wonderful. I tend to think of modern electronic stuff as dour and harsh, and this album goes completely against that. It is aspirational and uplifting, exploratory and adventurous. And many other adjectives that won’t mean anything until you sit down and listen to all fifty-seven minutes of it.

So do that. Right now.

Paint the Stars can be downloaded free from Jamendo. (Although Eddy J has Bandcamp and SoundCloud accounts, this album appears to be exclusive through Jamendo.)

Creative Commons License
Paint the Stars by Eddy J is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

(As noted, certain tracks are in fact CC BY 3.0 licensed, but it’s up to you to find which ones.)

#Writing #Music Monday: Rooftop Considerations by K4MMERER

Rooftop Considerations CoverI’m telling you right now: download the whole album, but then make a playlist that drops the second track from it for when you’re writing.

Unless you’re writing a murder scene.

You’ll understand why when you hear it.

K4MMERER (AKA Kämmerer) is a Swedish composer of electronic music who (like the past couple of artists shared here) has been around Creative Commons music for years, and been more than slightly prolific.

Rooftop Considerations (2012) is his seventeenth release, and an interesting blend of techno, early-style synth, and trance. It is contemplative without becoming newage dreck at any point. It hits a mood, then plays around with that mood in a surprising array of variations. The dark undertones (and overtones) make this a good choice for writing something with foreboding, dread, or regret, but probably not for romantic comedy.

If you want the whole album in a single track, give “The Peaceful Distance” a listen.

Rooftop Considerations is free to download from Jamendo.

Creative Commons License
Rooftop Considerations by K4MMERER is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 International License.